Just hours after Pinarello released its newest top of the range road bike, the Dogma F10, CEO Victor Major of Taiwanese company Velocite claimed the Italian brand infringes on its patents by using a concave downtube design.
In the "Open letter to Cicli Pinarello SpA" posted on Velocite's blog, Major says he contacted Pinarello through the company's law firm in May 2016 following the release of Pinarello's Bolide TT time trial bike, which also has a concave downtube. The letter challenges Pinarello's use of the design "not only on the Bolide TT frame, but also on the just released Dogma F10 frame."
The letter claims Velocite holds "three patents on the concave downtube design," two design patents in China and Taiwan, and a third "main one, an invention patent valid for 20 years also granted in Taiwan." An earlier blog post by Major warning of legal action regarding the patents, says, "several" bike brands are "already using our intellectual property without permission," though it's unclear which brands or the reason Pinarello has been singled out.
The full letter reads:
I am personally flattered that you like my concave downtube design so much that you used it not only on the Bolide TT frame, but also on the just released Dogma F10 frame. If we had not patented the concave downtube design I would have indeed been very flattered that a noted bicycle brand like yours chose to use our design, thus validating the year of development that I personally put into it. Alas, we actually hold three patents on the concave downtube design. One patent is a design patent in China (ZL2015 2 0139826.6), one is a design patent in Taiwan (D 170607) and then there is the main one, an invention patent valid for 20 years also granted in Taiwan (I562931). Both Taiwan and China are signatories to WIPO, just like Italy.
I initially alerted you to this issue in May 2016 once I observed our design and associated aerodynamic performance claim on the Bolide TT bike, only to be met with complete silence until July when three members of your engineering team checked out my LinkedIn profile for some reason (July 16th to be exact). They did not talk to me, or anyone in our company. I guess visiting my LinkedIn profile was deemed sufficient.
Our law firm sent you a letter on 21st of July 2016 formally notifying you of our concerns regarding your use of our intellectual property without ever discussing its fair use with us. Your law firm replied on the 4th of August and stated that owing to the long August holidays in Italy that you will be able to reply to us “no earlier than mid of September 2016.” Well it is now January 10th 2017 and there is still no response to our concerns. Instead today you released your second model that uses our intellectual property, the new Pinarello Dogma F10.
I find this personally upsetting, both because this is my personal work that you decided to claim for your own and because we could never establish any meaningful dialogue with you regarding fair, or compensated use of our intellectual property. I could understand that perhaps you used our intellectual property by accident when you made the new Bolide TT. After all finding out who owns what patent is not that simple and in the bicycle industry perhaps it is not the norm to investigate the intellectual property space before forging ahead with a new design. However, with the new Dogma F10 your use of our intellectual property is deliberate. You know it belongs to us. You were notified. You chose not to engage with us. What do you expect should happen next?
Thus, I hope that this letter encourages you to at least talk to us about the use of our intellectual property. You can either contact our law firm whose details you have, or you can find me on LinkedIn just like you found me before, or even use a contact form on our website here: Contact us
CEO, Velocite Tech. Co Ltd